Last updated on May 27th, 2015
THIS IS NOT A PAID ADVERTISEMENT. I simply wish to tell you about my Hamilton Beach electric kettle. I purchased this time-saving device six months ago, and now I can’t imagine living without it. Here’s why:
The kettle brings water to a full, exciting boil faster than you can say “full, exciting boil.”
Okay, that was an exaggeration.
But it does boil water faster than my stove top or microwave.
The kettle holds 1.7 liters of water (slightly more than 7 cups).
That’s more than enough water to prime and fill my tea pot.
Another selling point for me was the kettle’s stainless steel interior. Even the heating element is stainless. The only plastic parts are the base, the stay-cool handle, the pop-up lid and the water-gauge.
Operation is easy enough: Just fill the kettle and then push a button. The machine shuts itself off after the water reaches the boiling point.
The electric cord is attached only the base, so the kettle can be freely carried hither and yon.
I use my Hamilton Beach at least three times each day, every day. It’s certainly useful for making tea…
and for melting chocolate. Melted chocolate is what you need for this sinfully-delicious tart.
I also rely on the kettle for all of my coffee “brewing” adventures. I used quotation marks because the coffee I usually drink is the freeze-dried, instant kind. But I amend it with heavy cream.
Please don’t hate me.
Consider me the person you’ll never have to stand behind at Starbucks.
UPDATE: I now buy organic, fair-trade coffee beans, and brew them in a fabulous French Press coffee maker. What a difference!
And what, you might wonder, has become of my lovely old Le Creuset kettle? Well, it’s been relegated to a high shelf in the pantry. A shelf which can only be reached with the aid of a step-ladder. I certainly won’t throw it out, because I may very well need it during one of our frequent power failures.
Are you a fan of electric kettles, too? You can let me know by leaving a comment.
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I’ve been wanting one, but they seem spendy. Thanks for the review.
Oh yes, I am a fan! I’ve been using one for years. I think I first saw one on my travels to Ireland.
Bobbie Floyd says
Thanks for the review. I have been considering one, too, but I rarely need 7 cups. How would it work out with less water?
I have a Cuisinart and I love it! Especially the different temperature settings for different kinds of tea.
Kathy D says
Just ordered it! $29.99 from homedepot.com. This tea kettle will be very handy. Thanks for the heads-up, Kevin.
I feel so silly–I love them when I’ve encountered them in Europe and somehow never thought to buy one here! The safety shutoff is a good feature, too–you don’t have to worry about it boiling dry and starting a fire because you forgot to turn it off. You’ve inspired me–I will buy one.
Well! I am delighted times two with your post. First, I have the exact same kettle and use it year round, both for my daily cup of morning tea, but also because I brew fresh iced tea with lemon every few days and drink it all day long, year round. But I think I am the most delighted because you are one of the few Americans who understands that it is at “afternoon tea” that we sit, visit, sip hot tea and the appropriate nibbles. I cringe every time I hear the term “high tea” misused; as you noted in the linked post, “high tea” is actually a light midday or afternoon meal, commonly associated with laborers eating in a local place on the high street (or main street) of villages all over England.
Ah, it’s like ‘coming home’ to visit your blog!
Suzanne Bennett says
I think you should give one of these away…and pick me!
I have been using an electric kettle for about a year, and I have no idea why I didn’t buy one sooner. It boils water SO much faster than the stove top. I usually use it for a cup of tea or two in the morning. Sometimes I use it to boil water more quickly that I then transfer to a pot on my stove (such as when cooking pasta). And it takes up minimal counter space!
Kelly Hughes says
I love my electric kettle.
myrtle miller says
No I think the kettle being put on the shelf has a lot more character then the electric kettle. A friend gave me one that use to be hers and I figured that something must be wrong with it or she would not have gave it to me. This is just how I think. It’s sitting in my cabinet somewhere. What I do like is your china the pattern is lovely and is a reminder of all the beauty that still exists in this world. If you want to add to your coffee ritual purchase you something cheap that can grind coffee beans- throw it in there and then use that to make your coffee. The smell of the coffee beans and the fun of grinding your own beans will add to the fun of your coffee time.
Caren E. Martin says
I have the same one & bought it for my studio space so I can have a super quick cuppa. I need to get one for my kitchen too. I have the very same model 🙂 Gotta love Costco!
Kevin Do you prefer one instant coffee over another? My all time favorite instant coffee is Douwe Egberts that I discovered in England. I can’t find it in the US. It came in a glass apothecary jar. I heard Sara Lee bought out Douwe Egberts and have been able to find their coffee but not their instant and if the company ditched the instant they really made a mistake. We thought it was better than brewed coffee. Anyway, currently using Tasters Choice Hazelnut but always searching out the best of instant coffee so would like to know yours. Always, Maggie
I love my electric kettle. My grown daughter had one and kept after me to try it. When I found one at a garage sale for a few dollars, I tried it now I love it! Couldn’t live without it!
Forgot to say we’ve used electric kettles since we lived in England..the 80s..and wouldn’t be without one. Each morning when I prepare our health shake with raw egg and coconut oil (and other good things) I boil water in the kettle to pour into the blender pasteurizing the eggs and liquifying the coconut oil….there’s plenty of boiling water left for my cuppa PG Tips Tea and my husband’s coffee. I know…we are barbarians using instant coffee. Glad to find we’re in great company with one of the finest homemakers I’ve encountered, Kevin.
HI KEVIN….NO, I DON’T HAVE AN ELECTRIC KETTLE.BUT I LOVE YOUR CHINA . HOW LOVELY!!
Thanks for informing me about yet another great appliance, Kevin. I value your advice.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Maggie – Usually I drink Taster’s Choice (original blend). But now I want to try the Douwe Egberts instant coffee you mentioned. I checked, and it’s available through Amazon. Here’s the link: http://tiny.cc/0ifj4w
Barbara H says
My daughter bought me this tea kettle in March and it has been in constant use since then. It goes all day long for tea a various other things. I could not live without it. As you said it is way faster than using the stove and it is so easy to clean. We have very hard water in this area and I clean it once a week by filling with 1 cup white vinegar and the rest water and let it heat and it just wipes out. It can’t get much easier than that. It still looks like new. Everyone should have one!
I’m on my third electric kettle – all stainless, too. Great appliance for the kitchen and not just for tea. I use it all the time and have for about 20 years. I think I simply wear them out.. I’ve found the more expensive models last longer so in this case, you get what you pay for (IMHO).
Glenda Berman says
Being British and drinking copious amounts of tea each day an electric kettle is a must. Over the years we have tried many brands including Russel Hobbs and Westbend. Our current kettle is an “Aroma” and I like it very much. The water in our area is very hard and so the kettle tends to get “furred up” which curtails the life expectancy of the appliance. Thanks Barbara on the information regarding cleaning the kettle.
Marilyn Elliott says
You post these lovely and delicious recipes….and drink instant coffee? Even amended with heavy cream, instant coffee, unless used in a recipe, is an abomination.
How do you use your electric kettle to melt chocolate? Or did I misunderstand that reference?
Theresa M says
I’ve used on for years, first in an office for tea with my perspective clients, now in my house for all the above stated reasons.
I also put mine into service during canning season. When I need extra boiling water to top off the canner, I just flip the switch for a quick fix. It’s not an appliance that stays in the cupboard!
I want on the electric kettle band wagon too!!!!
I love reading English novels and they are ALWAYS putting it on for every situation. Even recently ordered some wonderful Irish loose tea. When I’ve been in GB, having tea was wonderful there, so now there is some here. For sure, Lipton can’t hold a stick. So wondering why I didn’t purchase a electric kettle instead of the whistling kettle I did get just not long ago……….I guess it’s the lack of counter space in my little old kitchen.
I have had my kettle for 4 yrs now and could not go without it. would be like loosing my right arm. I use it for so many things. Instead of cooking rice, with the water temp so hot, I just heat and pour over rice in container with lid, of sorts, wait 10 min and fluffy rice. I also do boiled eggs with this water heated as well as the normal used. If you just rec’d yours do some experimenting. it will save your gas/electric bill with limited stove use.
Addie B in FL says
Hi, Kevin – I lived in England for over sixteen years with my British husband before retiring to Florida , and EVERY home had an electric kettle, including ours; it’s almost as essential as a fridge. We don’t have one
in Florida because my husband bought himself a Keurig, and I mostly prefer cold drinks. Having said that, we went with two other couples to a proper High Tea at an authentic English pub just outside of Gainesville. The first Saturday of every month they serve English tea in real china pots and cups and saucers, crust less triangular sandwiches served on a tiered tray, scones, jams and cream, and bread and butter pudding. The waitresses dress in black with white aprons and caps, and the tables are laid with flowered tablecloths covered over with lace – charming!
By the way, I just LOVE your house – it makes me feel homesick for the four seasons growing up in Connecticut and lower New York State.
I so enjoy your website, too, thank you!
jina k says
They make great gifts for college students. Both of my girls had one in their dorms
Thanks Kevin & all
great tips !
Ava lansbery says
I love my “pot”, in fact I have two campers and have one in each. I did purchase one that did not turn itself off, so if any one is getting one for the first time, make sure it does. That poor thing went to Goodwill. I think of them as so British. So I lift a pinky when I pour. Love your blog.
I WAS WANDERING IF ANYBODY COULD RECOMMEND A GOOD COFFEE POT. I ONLY DRINK BREWED COFFEE. THANKS
Beverly, zone 6 eastern PA says
We are currently deciding to replace our Revereware Tea Kettle with something, and this post was very timely!
Karen L. says
I used to have a couple of British friends living in the States who have since moved back to the UK. They both swore by their electric kettles. I too have wanted one for quite some time but never got around to getting one. Maybe you have pushed me on. And like others, I cannot believe that you drink instant coffee but maybe you just don’t have the time to make fresh every morning especially early on in your life and have gotten used to the instant.
I do have the same question as #22 Marilyn Elliot who asked about melting chocolate. It does sound like you do that in the kettle and wondered if that is true and how you do it? Plus, what’s the clean up like if so?
Ginger Blymyer says
I too have an electric kettle mainly for my tea drinking daughter. It is so quick, and I use the bottled water in there because our water is hard and full of minerals. I wish I really liked tea, I try all sorts of new blends but find I don’t like the phony flavors like pumpkin, and chocolate. I like the real brands and the lose tea.
Karen L. says
Oops!!! So I just checked out your chocolate tart recipe (should have done that before “speaking”) and since you don’t actually melt the chocolate but instead pour hot cream over it, I am guessing you heat the cream in the kettle? Inquiring minds want to know. And again, does the kettle clean up easily after boiling the cream?
Our friends of the library bought one for the library staff. They love it and it is simple to have in their work area. We were surprised to find them so reasonable. An Oster for 30.00 on Amazon—love the Prime free shipping!
After a couple of visits to England, I came home and had to have an electric kettle! I use it a great deal and one of its most important functions is to heat up the water quickly for my hot water bottle that I put in the bed by my “ICE” feet! My hot water bottle was purchase on a trip to the Lake District in November! I was so cold in the bedroom! First trip to market, bought my hot water bottle! I love it and its floral cover!
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Karen – In one of my recipes, I melt chocolate bits over a bowl of hot water. And I used the electric kettle to quickly provide that water. Dang. I’ve produced and written so many recipes for this website that I can’t remember them all! I’ll have to find the right recipe and change the photo. Otherwise, to answer your question, I heat only water in the kettle.
Janet Ortega says
That is a great idea. I’ve never had one but my mom had one forever. I have a teapot but I would have to nuke the water so this is absolutely a great buy. I may just order one.
Anne Beckes says
Your insight is especially timely. Mine (not the same brand) still works but no longer shuts itself off. I LOVE having an electric kettle: it is how I defrost packaged sauces (oops, probably wasn’t supposed to admit that) as well as mix hot chocolate and brew tea. Yours sounds especially commendable and Amazon had the best price. Thanks!
Best instant coffee:Via by Starbucks! Cheers! love your blog!
Recently I bought an inexpensive ($12), small (1L) Proctor Silex model to try and I love it. I boil water in the morning to pre-heat my thermos, water for my french-press coffee maker, and also to put in my saucepan for my hot cereal. I’ll be upgrading to a larger version soon so I don’t have to heat 2 batches of water in the morning. Automatic shut-off is a definite necessity.
I’m on my second kettle. When family from the UK visited they couldn’t believe I didn’t have one. I couldn’t believe I was without one for so long.
Hi, I researched getting an electric hot pot about a year ago. Had it on my wish list for Christmas but never got one. I was glad to see your comments about yours and how well it functions. It takes forever to heat water in the tea kettle on my electric stove. I thought this might be a more efficient and economical way for heating water, aside from and instant hot water dispenser at the sink. I’m going to see where I can find one of these at the best price. Better yet, a raffle might be a good idea. 🙂
Linda Stone says
If you haven’t already tried them, Folgers coffee bags are wonderful–like tea bags only a bit large–for a cup of coffee that tastes brewed. Red box is leaded, green box is decaf ;o)
I have had electric kettles for many years. Most recently I got a kettle at Aldi for $10. It’s plastic but you can select 4 different temperatures to heat the water to and you can press a button to hold the water at the selected temperature for 30 minutes.
Hello, Kevin! I guess I don’t get out much, because I have never heard of electric kettles. They sound great and very useful. But I have to confess that what I really liked about your impression of using one was the pictures of your tea set from which you serve your tea. It is so beautiful! I am a huge fan of china, particularly if it is old. Yours is lovely! LOVE your website, too! Thanks for all of your tips! So glad I found A Garden for the House!
Melanie P. says
Love my electric kettle! We traveled to the Ukraine in the early 90’s & saw them in use there. My husband bought me one 5 years ago & I use it daily. It uses so much less electricity and is quicker than the stove top. Mine is stainless too and was a great purchase.
Linda Marie says
Kevin, You surprized me… I thought for sure you were going to say that you put a plant in the ‘retired’ kettle! I have collected a few and I plan on putting plants in them… I can usually find them at thrift stores or garage sales.
You are just so talented. Thank you Kevin for sharing so much!
Linda Marie says
Kevin, I just looked at your ‘retired’ kettle again… Gee, I would not put a plant in it either… it is really so pretty, in my favorite color, and in fabulous condition!
Chef Debra says
I began using them years ago when I lived in London, it came with my furnished flat and we became tea drinkers and we drank instant coffee then too. In addition to beverages, I use it to reconstitute my dried mushrooms and for certain cleaning chores.
Arlene Maben says
I can’t do without my electric kettle. My husband bought it for me after I had burned out a couple of others by forgetting I’d put them on for tea. The automatic shut-off is a lifesaver, literally. I’m surprised at how many of your viewers didn’t know about electric kettles. I’m from Canada originally, they are very popular there.
Had instant hot water dispenser in previous house but not in new condo. I miss the convenience and think an electric kettle would be a wonderful and economical replacement!
Yes! I picked one up after a trip to England got me hooked, and now I can’t imagine life without it! It’s so fast and feels like less of an energy waste than turning on the stove for one burner 🙂 And it makes me feel British, which the Anglophile in me loves!
Hi Kevin, This is off topic, but I wanted to ask a follow up question to an earlier post. Your blog has become a true ‘destination’ for me, one I surf repeatedly as so often I find new and valuable information in past posts. I too am an African Violet addict and was fascinated by two varieties you purchased at a show you attended. Neither was in flower at the time you photographed them, but the descriptions of the flowers-to-come were so tantalizing.
Did ‘Lunar Eclipse’ and ‘Rainy Day Lovin’ live up to your expectations? Would it be possible to see their flowers sometime?
Thanks for considering, Tracy
Ahhh, these comments explain a few things… I’m from Canada, where the electric kettle is a necessary staple, and has been for generations.
Years ago when I lived in Banff (a mountain town in Alberta, Canada) a room-mate of mine was a mountain climbing guide in the summer season (he was a heli-skilling guide in the winter) and would lead groups of tourists in back-country climbs. One year a group of American tourists got grounded for a couple of days due to bad weather, and so he put them up overnight in our townhouse (all the hotels were full). He told them to make themselves home in our kitchen while he went out to check weather conditions. Until, that is, I came home from work to find that one of them had used my Brown Betty teapot (handed down to me from my grandmother) on the stove to boil water. Luckily it was made of solid stuff and didn’t break, but was scorched. I was spitting mad, particularly since our electric kettle was sitting RIGHT BESIDE the burner on the stove he’d used to boil water in my teapot. I couldn’t understand why on earth this person would search around in our cupboards for my teapot to boil water, when he literally had to move the electric kettle to use the burner. When my room-mate told me that the American tourist didn’t know what it was because he’d never seen one I didn’t REALLY believe him.
Thanks to all the comments above, now I do. If anyone of those tourists I snapped at way back then is listening, I apologize for snapping at you and chasing you out of our kitchen!
Oh, btw, Kevin. I *love* your blog, but… freeze-dried Instant? Really? Ewww. If I may be so bold as to suggest, perhaps consider getting a good quality coffee, grind a bunch at a time, or even get it ground at the store, and use a Bodum. It’s very fast, and almost as easy as freeze-dried. But sooo much better. And you can use that wonderful electric kettle.
Always fun to visit! Have a great week!
Linda Dodd says
I’ve never drank coffee or tea in my life, but there is something soothing about having warm water on hand for everything from hot chocolate to warming a baby’s bottle.
Love my kettle, had it for about a year and am astounded how often I use it. We heat/prime our coffee thermoses with boiling water so our coffee (strong, brewed) stays hot for hours. We make tea several times a day. I’m using it now for canning- to add to the canning pot, start the water off hot, etc. Even when I make pasta, I find it’s quicker and more efficient to heat the water via kettle (even though it takes two pots). Love my kettle!
yvonne moram says
I cant imagine life without an electric kettle,we have had them here in Briton for more years than i care to remember,here you can get them very cheap to the expensive ones but they are in every house hold all over the u k .I wonder why a country like America has been so long having them in there households? enjoy they are here to stay!!!!
Been toying with buying an electric kettle. I think I’m off the fence now and have put it on my wishlist.
I think my sister has two of them, one for the master bedroom suite for early morning and late night tea and they have another on in the kitchen. She keeps telling me I need one and one day I will.
I can´t believe you don´t use electric kettles in US!!!
It is as essential as a tooth brush or a vacuum cleaner. Every household in Czech Republic (I´m from Prague) have it and I´m sure it is the same in rest of Europe.
We´ve been taught that electric kettle is saving energy, cause it boils water much faster than a cooker: we are supposed to pre-boil water in a kettle instead of slowly heating it in the pot on cooker. Ecology people and organizations never forget to mention it.
Instead of waiting ten minutes until the water starts to boil in pot, I always put the pot (for cooking rice, potatoes, soups or whatever) on the cooker empty and fill it with the boiling water from the kettle. We do it like this since I can remember.
I can only recommend it to you, costs nothing and saves time and energy. Please, go and buy one, all of you 😀
Claudia S says
Hi Kevin. I read your post last week about this electric kettle and I went and bought one. We have a problem of putting the kettle on the stove, getting distracted and then making a mad dash to turn it off! We love the kettle so much, thanks for posting about it!
Sonja Jones says
We first used an electric kettle on our vacation to Spain 4 years ago. Loved it and bought one when we came back home. Mine’s not stainless steel but I love it anyways! I think I bought it for around $15.
I use it to make my pour overs of coffee (I work at Starbucks) or mint tea. Hubby use to take it to work to make his hot chocolate.
It’s also nice when needing to unclog a drain because boiling water is a good remedy for that. (just in case you didn’t know. )
I’m like you though, I still have my old stove top kettle tucked away just in case.
Wow! I would love an electric kettle for making tea! Thank you Kevin.
Yep, sure am a fan!……………………..have been wanting to know what they are like. Thanks for sharing. Could be handy indeed 😀
I don’t have one yet, but when I see it on your blog, I’m tempted again. Love the idea of melting chocolate
I use an electric kettle to heat water for my french press. There is nothing like fresh ground coffee brewed in a french press and finished with local light cream. Delish.
I used an electric kettle in Afghanistan to make tea, clean dishes, and sanitize my toothbrush. It was an indispensible item on the FOB.
Sherry Kanoski says
Kevin, I love a guy who loves purple! I saw the device and also your purple pot on the stove! My house would be all purple!
Another use for your cast iron pot that was replaced with the electric kettle: we had a huge Buck Stove in our house….a freestanding, self enclosed wood stove. I used a similar pot on top of the metal stove to add moisture to the house. Fireplace shops sell similar pots, but that would be a great use for your pot……if you had a wood stove…..if any of your followers had a wood stove. The water never actually boiled, but was hot enough to simmer along adding needed moisture to our dry, winter home!
Love, love, love your column!
My daughter got me one for Mother’s Day and now I can’t imagine not having one either! I use it not only for hot tea, to make iced tea, hot water for pizza crust… The fact that it shuts itself off may just keep our house from burning down!
I am on my third electric kettle. This is my third year for my Russell Hobbs. The kettle is used many times each day for French Press coffee, tea, hummingbird food and any time boiled water is needed. It is a necessity in my kitchen
Love your blog!
Love mine too! It’s only $19.99 at WalMart (on Amazon it’s $59.!!). It has a glass reservoir and is red, yes, bright red. I really love it – boils water super fast. And visually, on my counter…the only bright spot there. OK enough of that….here’s where I got it: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Farberware-1.7-Liter-360-Degree-Glass-Kettle-Red/36041109
Mari H says
My mother and my grandmother had electric teakettles! I have had one for YEARS and wouldn’t know what to do without one. I boil water for my french press coffee in the a.m. , tea in the afternoon (or if I want another cup of coffee since we grow it right here on the property!), to have hot water to pre heat a serving container, I use it anytime I need hot water. It beats running the faucet and wasting all that water waiting for it to get warm, or waiting for the kettle to boil on the stove! Love,Love,Love it!
Kathy H. says
Would never be without one! Husband had lived in England for a decade, and he owned one and French press coffee maker when we united 15 years ago. I became instant fans of both. Have the same Hamilton Beach model and was just marveling that it must be 8 years old and going strong. And the only reason we needed to replace was… one morning (before coffee, obviously) husband put the last one on gas burner by mistake and melted the bottom!
For the weekend house, I bought a pricier glass one but regret it… there is unsightly residue from the hard water and I’m constantly descaling with vinegar. the less pricey Hamilton Beach is the way to go, I believe.
Roger Swayze says
My family owns a beautiful vacation home on the Oregon Coast. I love to host friends over there whenever I can. One of them visited and suggested we check out all of the thrift shops. At one point my friend suggested I purchase an electric kettle displayed at one of them. The brand [ikon] was unfamiliar to me but it was priced at $7.00 so I bought it. It has all of the features yours has Kevin – all stainless steel, plastic base and handle, automatic shutoff. I now use it everyday and I’m glad my friend found it for me.